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Members of Phoenix-based UFCW Local 99 — which represents union grocery workers across Arizona — overwhelmingly approved a three-year agreement with Fry’s, Safeway, and Smith’s grocery chains that doesn’t include employee-paid premiums for health insurance. The new contract also includes wage increases and sufficient funding to maintain the workers’ pension fund.
“More than 50 percent of those eligible participated in the vote, which is an unusually high percentage that reflects our members’ intense interest in the negotiations that produced this agreement,” said UFCW Local 99 president Jim McLaughlin.
The agreement was reached during the evening of Nov. 12, just hours before a strike deadline set by Local 99.
“This new contract is a significant improvement over the employers’ previous offer, which was rejected by the members,” noted McLaughlin. “We are glad the companies were able to come to terms with us and look forward to working with them over the next three years in a spirit of trust and mutual support.”
UFCW Local 99 represents workers in retail food and drug stores, food-processing plants, health care facilities, legal offices, dentists’ offices, waste-management firms, museums, parking lots, and other businesses and institutions throughout Arizona.